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Phuket Schools Relax Rules For Hiring English Teachers


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Phuket schools relax rules for hiring English teachers

Phuket Gazette

phuket-1-11431oCcZFrGOUJjFkLsrukchEcyjSs.jpg

Schools in Phuket Town are struggling to attract native English

speakers as teachers, a factor that may leave Thailand behind in

the AEC 2015 race. Photo: Rex Pe

PHUKET: -- The Phuket Primary Education Area Office has relaxed the requirements for foreigners to be hired as English-language teachers at government schools in Phuket.

The move is aimed at combating a critical staff shortage, explained Office Director Jian Thongnoon.

“We need about 100 English teachers, but right now we have only about 50 teachers and some of these are not very good in English. This is a big emergency that we need to solve,” he said.

Among the reasons for the staff shortage were that many English teachers had moved from primary to middle schools, and teachers were applying for early retirement, the director said.

“Ideally, we have to hire teachers specifically trained to teach in English. Just hiring native English speakers is not really worth it because these people do not have teaching skills. However, in the meantime we will have to hire teachers who just have English skills until we can find qualified teachers who have both English and English-teaching skills” Mr Jian explained.

Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) President Paiboon Upatising expressed his concern that an ongoing shortage would have a serious impact on Phuket’s ability to remain competitive after the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) charter comes into full effect.

“This is a top priority. The AEC comes into effect in 2015, so the sooner we resolve this issue the better. Neighboring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia already have good English skills, so we will be at even more of a disadvantage if we do not have enough English teachers to educate our children.

“Many English teachers have retired from OrBorJor schools this year. We have been announcing that we need English teachers, but there have been very few applications,” said Mr Paiboon.

Mr Paiboon explained that the problem is not restricted to OrBorJor schools and that other relevant officials are facing the same problem. Officials from the OrBorJor, Phuket City Municipality and the Primary Educational Service Area office will continue to meet to discuss strategies to overcome the problem.

“The OrBorJor will start by teaching English to existing teachers so they can teach the children and we will hire native English speakers to help,” Mr Paiboon said.

The long-term strategy involves coordinating with educational institutions in Phuket in order to fill the skills gap, said Mr Paiboon.

“Previously, educational institutions in Phuket have been catering to the needs of the tourism and hotel industries, but having English teachers is very important.

“A shortage of English teachers will affect our children’s English skills, which will result in Thailand not being able to compete [economically] against other countries,” he said.

Source: http://www.phuketgazette.net/archives/articles/2011/article11431.html

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-- Phuket Gazette 2011-11-14

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For some reason, I don't think 3 years, 1 month, and 2 and a bit weeks is long enough to solve the English language problems!

You reap what you sow. This ASEAN AEC is going to cause big problems for Thailand.

I agree with that.

But its quite a step forward (and necessary for any rectification) that a realisation of that English would be useful in AEC is growing.

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Spot on. I have friends who teach and the salaries are awful and one hasn't had a raise since he started, 7 years ago.

Yeah and everything's gone up about 50% since 7 years ago and that's without equating the strong Baht into the equation. Sure teachers get paid in Baht but if like me your income comes from abroad you'll have noticed how much it stings us also.

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"Ideally, we have to hire teachers specifically trained to teach in English. Just hiring native English speakers is not really worth it because these people do not have teaching skills. However, in the meantime we will have to hire teachers who just have English skills until we can find qualified teachers who have both English and English-teaching skills".

Doesn't sound that the ones without teaching skills could get a work permit...it seems like government schools don't care about that at all.

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Also not mentioned is that Phuket is more expensive for all foreigners and rents are expensive too so i agree with others

pay more and you will get better teachers who will want to stay and teach also maybe make the visa a little bit easier to get for teachers,

if Thailand really wants the better teachers for their children they should at least look at these things for a start

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A lot of this has to do with the wages. I know a guy that teaches at Uni level and get less than 30K a month. But a lot of it has to do with location... we have an ELS and we're offering 60K a month... but when you say it's in Surin they're not interested. Still needing two TESOL teachers...

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Great, we'll therefore see yet another bunch of cheap "English teachers" with no real teaching accreditation and who will not care about teaching properly (just have fun, fun, fun). Yeay.

Sorry but i do not agree that all non qualified teachers do not care, i am not qualified and would love to teach english to primary school kids, but how do i apply if i do not have formal qualifications?

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